Blog Archives

Corporate “Social Responsibility” – An Alibi For Perilous Deregulation


869fc97332e7add2fcc427d2d89ba19a_chile__pharma

“These business leaders from the companies Salco-Brand, Ahumada and Cruz Verde were in fact convicted” – (Juan Pablo Ortiz)

SANTIAGO – After four long years in court, the 10 Chilean pharmaceutical executives prosecuted for colluding to raise the prices of 222 medicines can breathe easy.

These business leaders from the companies Salco-Brand, Ahumada and Cruz Verde were in fact convicted, but the sentence amounted to a meager fine — the equivalent of $445,000 to be paid as a group — and an order to attend 30 hours of business ethics classes.

It’s an insulting punishment for executives who padded the profits of their respective companies by millions at the expense of sick people. But unfortunately in Chile, sanctions are light for businesses and executives who commit financial crimes.

Sentencing the 10 guilty executives to attend business ethics classes is absurd. How can they redeem themselves in a country that pushes them to cheat, and where personal success and profit, at any cost, are the driving forces of the economy?

As an alternative to government regulation, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has evolved here as a form of self-regulation. Companies are supposed to monitor and guarantee their compliance with legal and ethical requirements. But CSR is in clear opposition to the pressures and demands of the economy. As long as no rules, regulations or sanctions exist for those who abuse their economic power, CSR will remain mere window-dressing, duping society and benefiting only the richest 1% and their profit margins.

The Chilean economic model has renounced all regulation. Indeed, all obstacles to the flow of productive and speculative capital have been eliminated. Unionization and the right to strike have been restricted, and collective bargaining is almost non-existent; natural resources can be freely exploited; regressive taxes hurt taxpayers while large businesses are granted exemptions; education, health and social systems have been converted to business models; and the state’s responsibilities have been reduced to a bare minimum. In summary, Chile has created a society designed around a tiny fraction of its wealthiest citizens.

CSR simply cannot counteract the overwhelming neoliberal ideology. In fact, it is making matters worse. It is used to justify less regulation, which means fewer checks and fewer preventative measures. Businesses fiercely defend their right to self-regulation, including their right to self-regulate their CSR, because they think that rigid national regulations would dampen competitiveness and, in the long term, lead to financial losses.

In the name of my free market

And businesses insist on self-regulating not just their relationships with other companies and consumers, but also their interaction with local communities, the environment and the global market. CSR is therefore directly responsible for the relocation of industry to countries with globalization, competition and lower overhead. CSR will never modify the rules of the game to attribute greater importance to decency and respect for citizens.

Businesses are using it in the name of the free market to justify reducing the role of the welfare state and eliminating anything that hinders generating maximum profit in the most minimum timeframe possible.

But ethics must never be forsaken. They should be present throughout society, and especially within the economy and politics. But if we want to see socially guided behavior from businessmen, we need to start by giving the state back to its citizens and creating a regulatory system that favors ethical competency and harshly condemns crimes against consumers, workers and the environment. In particular, if the education system forgets its love affair with profit and starts to teach civil decency, our culture may finally begin to value social solidarity.

Aristotle believed that political and economic decisions have an unavoidable moral connotation. But Machiavelli thought that economics and politics are far from moral, that ethical values have no place in the pursuit of power achieve power. Though it repulses us to acknowledge it, economic and political power, independent of the common good, have become dominant in today’s world. We are unfortunately much closer to Machiavelli than Aristotle.

The way in which economics governs everyday life is not helping us to achieve a more ethical outlook. In Chile, like much of the world, the size of the economy and the power of those who control it have grown. Instead of compensating for the inequalities inherent in modern financial markets, politics and the state have grown weaker, becoming instruments used to increase financial power. Economics 1 – politics 0. Though they have been elected by the people, politicians regard their ability to channel the public’s desires as limited. The nation’s sense of community is weakened by the overbearing power of the economy and the fragility of the state.

The case of pharmaceutical collusion, just like the La Polar accounting fraud case, is emblematic of the assault being committed in Chile against consumers. And this is allowed to happen because the state is so weak. By focusing on growth and employment, it has placed the need for a healthy balance between business and society into a distant second place. Until that changes, justice in Chile will continue to be biased, and ethics classes certainly won’t make a difference.

via Corporate “Social Responsibility” – An Alibi For Perilous Deregulation – All News Is Global |.

Ethics Without Religion


We all know that to steal or to murder is wrong but how do you defend those as universal values and not just as assertions of common sense?

Peter Singer is the author of several books on non-religious ethics and is Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and he suggests, “an intellectually coherent ethic has to be independent of religion and that’s an argument that goes right back to Socrates and Plato.”

“I would say one of the keys is putting yourself in the position of others and seeing how you would feel if this were done to you,” he continues, “of course, that is something that is in The Bible but that’s just an example of the fact that the Judeo-Christian scriptures, like other traditions, have come up with things that are pretty basic.”

He chats further with thoughts on the concepts of The Golden Rule, empathy, utilitarianism, and ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’.

via Ethics Without Religion – Peter Singer.

via Ethics Without Religion.

AN INTERVIEW WITH NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI author of The Prince (HE KNEW HIS POLITICS)


Eds: Hello Nic. Welcome to the 21st century.

MAC: Is it really, I thought it was a reenactment of the feudal age.

Eds: What’s going on in the afterlife?

MAC: There’s not a lot going on for a prince: unlike your times when my writings would be modern classics.

Eds: They are, in their way. We actually coin your name to describe political machinations of dubious import.

MAC: Grazi. Though your politician’s go much further than even I envisaged.

Eds: Really. We seem to get along with them OK.

MAC: Exactly. Even in my day there was at least Papal opprobrium of such despicable, duplicitous and ruthless behaviour. Though you claim to be more developed, your ignorant revisionism leads easily to unethical times. The politicians are running roughshod over any ethics and morals in pursuit of their own and their cronies’ wealth and power. Even in my day, we had at least to appease the lumpen proletariat…

Eds: Interesting choice of words, Nic.

MAC: Indeed. We had Sondro Botticelli, with his wonderfully buxom and angelic figures to distract their attention from the self-serving – dare I say it – Machiavellian deeds.

Eds: You did anyway. However, we have technology, war and nationalistic jingoism of sport to distract. It’s very effective.

MAC: Yes, but I would have hoped, after the rationalism and enlightenment, you would have developed better than you have. You still have Royalty, for formalism’s sake, and your art is so reductively materialistic and elitist, I can’t quite believe it. And your banks are even more powerful and despotic than even the Medici’s.

Eds: Yes, well, at least we’ve been in space.

MAC: Yes, and you’ve become lost in it as a result. You seem to have reacted badly to seeing the immense nothingness out there: you had a look and recoiled in terror and became obsessed with economics. Also, you have become afraid of thinking, in any philosophical sense. It’s rather tragic, really. Whatever did you think when you so-called voted in that woman with the worst excesses of Virtu.

Eds: We are into change.

MAC: No, you’re not. That period was the time when there was as close to democracy as you may have ever had, yet she ruled like an ancient despot. And the situation has gotten steadily worse since. There’s been a steady decline in your morals and ethics but this is the only change. Just look at the history of the Industrial Revolution; your industrial relations are akin to those now. The moral vacuum since you lost faith in yourselves – or so you thought god – is tangible in the practices of government and their conspiratorial acolytes around the globe.

Eds: It’s all based on economic necessity.

MAC: That’s what you must believe in order to make sense of, or rather to deny sense of your own lives as individuals. The art of princely control is exactly telling you a patent untruth, that some members of society are beyond reproach and others are not worthy to enjoy consideration of human dignity. The illusory nature of your reality is archaic in its principles.

Eds: We’ve got better music than your day.

MAC: Hardly, ironically you haven’t got much lute these days…

Eds: Everyone’s a smart-ass!

MAC: Exactly. Where do you think you get the term Classical music from? It’s from times like my own. Although patronised by some of the worst examples of human beings; hold on a minute, that’s certainly not unique to my time, some of the best tunes mankind has ever made were turned out.

Eds: But have you heard Pop music?

MAC: Sadly, yes. On that note I must be excused. Arrivederci.

via The Inconsequential » An Interview With… – Issue 20.

via The Inconsequential » An Interview With… – Issue 20.

Providing for the Poor is a duty, Which Falls on the State as a whole’


Men are also gained over by liberality, especially such as have not the means to buy what is necessary to sustain life. However, to give aid to every poor man is far beyond the power and the advantage of any private person. For the riches of any private person are wholly inadequate to meet such a call. Again, an individual man’s resources of character are too limited for him to be able to make all men his friends. Hence providing for the poor is a duty, which falls on the State as a whole, and has regard only to the general advantage.’

Spinoza, Ethics, part IV, chapter XVII

Our State has failed badly

MovieBabble

The Casual Way to Discuss Movies

OLD HOLLYWOOD IN COLOR

...because it was never black & white

LEANNE COLE

Art and Practice

CURNBLOG

Movies, thoughts, thoughts about movies.

FilmBunker

Saving you from one cinematic disaster at a time.

From 1 Blogger 2 Another

Sharing Great Blog Posts

Wonders in the Dark

Cinema, music, opera, books, television, theater

Just Reviews

Just another WordPress.com site

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

conradbrunstrom

Things I never thunk before.

News from the San Diego Becks

The life and times of Erik, Veronica and Thomas

The Silent Film Quarterly

The Only Magazine Dedicated To Silent Cinema

Leaden Circles

First a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air.

My Archives

because the internet is not forever

CineSocialUK

Up to the minute, fair, balanced, informed film reviews.

PUZZLED PAGAN PRESENTS

A Shrine to Pop Culture Obsessiveness. With Lots of Spoilers

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

“Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be” – Peter DeVries

thedullwoodexperiment

Viewing movies in a different light

Twenty Four Frames

Notes on Film by John Greco

Suzanne's Mom's Blog

Arts, Nature, Family, Good Works, Luna & Stella Birthstone Jewelry

It Doesn't Have To Be Right...

... it just has to sound plausible

NJ Corporate Portrait Photographer Blog

The life of a corporate portrait photographer who likes to shoot just about anything.

arwenaragornstar

A French girl's musings...

Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)

Australian movie blog - like Margaret and David, just a little younger

Octopus Films

A place for new perspectives on films, TV, media and entertainment.

scifist 2.0

A sci-fi movie history in reviews

The Reviewer's Corner

The Sometimes Serious Corner of the Internet for Anime, Manga, and Comic Reviews

First Impressions

Notes on Films and Culture

1,001 Movies Reviewed Before You Die

Where I Review One of the 1,001 Movies You Should Watch Before you Die Every Day

Movies Galore of Milwaukee

Movie Galore takes a look at Silent films on up to current in development projects and gives their own opinion on what really does happen in film!

The Catwing Has Landed

A Writer's Blog About Life and Random Things

mibih.wordpress.com/

Anime - Movies - Wrestling

Gabriel Diego Valdez

Movies and how they change you.

The Horror Incorporated Project

Lurking among the corpses are the body snatchers....plotting their next venture into the graveyard....the blood in your veins will run cold, your spine tingle, as you look into the terror of death in tonight's feature....come along with me into the chamber of horrors, for an excursion through.... Horror Incorporated!

Relatos desde mi ventana

Sentimientos, emociones y reflexiones

Teri again

Finding Me; A site about my life before and after a divorce

unveiled rhythms

Life In Verses

Gareth Roberts

Unorthodox Marketing & Strategy

leeg schrift

Taalarmen

100 Films in a Year

12 months. 100 films. Hopefully.

%d bloggers like this: